Forum - Health Care Reform
TCNA presents healthcare reform forum in Chocorua, Jan. 26
State Rep. Jerry Knirk to discuss high price of pharmaceuticals at Runnells Hall
The Tamworth Community Nurse Association (TCNA) will present a forum on health-care reform on Sunday, January 26, at 2 p.m., at Runnells Hall in Chocorua. The forum will be hosted by State Rep. Jerry Knirk of Freedom, who will discuss the high cost of today’s pharmaceuticals, among other health-care issues.
Rep. Knirk, a retired spinal surgeon, is one of the representatives for Madison, Tamworth, Albany and Freedom and serves on the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee, with a special interest in health-care policy. He will discuss how our health-care system compares internationally, explain the confusing terminology and explain the choices involved in reform.
Pharmaceuticals are a significant health-care cost driver, accounting for 15 percent of our health-care expenditures. The United States has the highest per-capita retail prescription spending in the world, and costs are rising far more rapidly than those of other developed countries. It is troubling to see enormous profits in the pharmaceutical industry at the same time that we see patients going without drugs because they cannot afford them. There is a conflict between the public’s need for affordable drugs and the pharmaceutical industry’s need for profits.
A recent report from the Government Accountability Office demonstrated that among the 25 largest pharmaceutical companies, the annual average profit margin fluctuated between 15 percent and 20 percent. In comparison, the profit margin of the 500 largest global non-drug companies fluctuated between 4 percent and 9 percent. Drug prices are set at whatever the market will bear; however, pharmaceuticals are a need, not a discretionary consumer good. You might desire the latest gadget but choose not to purchase it as the price is too high. Unfortunately, a patient with diabetes cannot choose not to buy insulin if it is too expensive.
TCNA has sponsored and cosponsored many thought-provoking forums to raise awareness in the community on a variety of topics that impact the health of individuals as well as the general public.
For further information about the healthcare forum or the Tamworth Community Nurse Association, call 603-323-8511. This program is free of charge and open to all.